Cryptocurrencies: Sam Bankman-Fried, accused of fraud in the United States, is being held in the Bahamas – World Today

Sam Bankman-Fried, a former rising star in cryptocurrencies, was indicted by American justice on Tuesday for defrauding clients and investors who placed their money in FTX and Alameda. On Monday evening, the thirtieth, who was arrested in the Bahamas, where he lives at the request of the United States, was presented to the judge of the archipelago, who decided to keep him in prison.

Dressed in a blue suit and without handcuffs, he said during a hearing in a Nassau court that he may oppose extradition to the United States, local media reported. US justice wants to try him on eight counts, including wire fraud, money laundering and violation of election laws.

“House of Cards Built on Deception”

Sam Bankman-Fried, alias “SBF”, has been accused of using money deposited by customers who wanted to speculate on cryptocurrencies since the beginning of FTX in 2019 to finance the activities and risky bets of the brokerage and investment company. Alameda. He is also accused of lying to financiers who provided loans to the Alameda company about the company’s true financial condition and to FTX investors. He eventually used money “stolen” from his clients to pay tens of millions of dollars to political leaders, both Democrats and Republicans, and thus sought to “gain influence” in Washington, New York Federal Attorney Damian Williams charged at a news conference.

Financial market regulators have simultaneously filed civil complaints against the former financial prodigy. “He built a house of cards on deception,” said Gary Gensler, the chairman of Wall Street’s watchdog (SEC). Stock market police accuse him of lying to investors about the relationship between his two companies and using his clients’ money to make “risky investments, luxury real estate purchases and significant political donations.” The agency responsible for derivatives (CFTC) accuses him of fraud and false declarations.

“Let’s protect consumers better”

“Mr. Bankman-Fried is reviewing the charges with his legal team and is considering all of his legal options,” his US attorney, Mark Cohen, said in a statement. However, at the beginning of the year, the platform was valued at $32 billion. The SBF hired many celebrities to promote it and met regularly with regulators in Washington.

But in early November, doubts began to arise about FTX’s ties to Alameda, and many customers wanted their money back. Unable to fulfill its demands, the group declared bankruptcy on November 11. The collapse of FTX has bankrupted several companies in the cryptocurrency industry and prompted many officials to call for increased regulation. The White House spokesperson thus recalled on Tuesday that the Joe Biden administration supports “legislative efforts to enact cryptocurrency legislation to better protect American consumers.”

“Complete failure”

Jacob Frenkel of the firm Dickinson Wright said in the United States “if convicted of fraud, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.” A former SEC official added, “If prosecutors weren’t absolutely sure there would be a conviction, there wouldn’t be an indictment.” Sam Bankman-Fried, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the son of Stanford University law professors, managed to legitimize cryptocurrencies with the general public and the political class. At one time, his fortune was estimated at 25 billion dollars. He was still scheduled to appear before a House parliamentary committee on Tuesday after the new head of the FTC, John Ray.

Platform’s former leaders demonstrated a “complete failure” at all levels of oversight, the latter told Congress, particularly lamenting the “total absence” of accounting or an independent board of directors for a company that makes billions of dollars. . At first glance, “the collapse of the FTX group appears to be the result of absolute concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced and unsophisticated individuals,” the official said.

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